Relatives of Haverhill ten-year-old with a brain tumour to take on cycling marathon to raise money for his care
The grandad and uncle of a ten-year-old boy who has gone blind after an operation to remove a highly aggressive brain tumour are taking on a sponsored 24-hour cycle ride to help him.
Inspired by the life-changing problems faced by Cayden Le Roy-Tickner, of Haverhill, Steve Morris and his son Lee Taylor, have set our their stall to cycle 266 miles from Haverhill to Hunstanton and back on July 8/9.
The pair have set up a fund-raising page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/caydensjourney with the goal of raising £7,000.
Steve, who lives in Haverhill, said: “Lee came up with this 24-hours idea. I’ve done 211 miles and that was 17 hours and we thought ‘well, let’s try for 24-hours for them.’
“It’s not only Cayden that’s a victim. When you see his parents and what Carol and Gavin have to go through, they are just as much of a victim.”
Steve, 58, took up cycling a decade ago to help, as he said, keep ‘at bay’ his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects the lungs, so for him the challenge is greater than it would be for most.
Lee, of Steeple Bumpstead, who will turn 37 on the day of the ride, is also an avid cycling fan and together they put in 50-60 miles shared time on their bikes each week.
As Lee, who works at Chippys fish and chip shop in Strasbourg Square, Haverhill, said: “We wish to put our passion for cycling to a great use and help someone very dear to us.”
After two years of sickness and countless visits to see a GP, during which time the cancer was not picked up, Cayden was rushed to hospital in early March after his sight disappeared on the day that one of his two sisters celebrated their birthday.
A scan revealed that the tumour was a large one.
Steve said: “It laid on both optic nerves, right across his forehead. It was across his entire frontal lobe. They said it was the most aggressive tumour you could have.”
Cayden had surgery to remove the tumour on March 8, but only 91 per cent of it could be removed as some of the growth was so close to his optic nerve.
Further surgery followed on April 3 to remove fluid that was building up on his brain, during which a further 3 per cent of the tumour was taken out, leaving 6 per cent behind and the need for a year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
Cayden, who before being diagnosed was a pupil at New Cangle Primary School, is now registered blind as he has no sight at all in his right eye and can only detect shadows in his left eye.
He is now having radiotherapy every day from Monday to Friday until the end of June, in tandem with taking daily chemotherapy tablets, explained Lee, who is the brother of Cayden’s dad, Gavin Tickner.
Gavin is well-known to local non-league football followers having turned out for Haverhill Borough, Haverhill Rovers and West Wratting. He currently plays for Linton Granta .
Once radiotherapy is over, Cayden must undergo a course of intensive chemotherapy, spending five consecutive days in hospital every six weeks while he receives the drugs intravenously.
Steve explained the impact that Cayden’s situation has had on him, saying: “It changed me. When i went to Cayden in the hospital and I saw them kids there with cancer and oh man, it brought tears to my eyes just thinking about it. You walk down that ward and it changes your whole outlook.
“If the chemotherapy does get rid of the tumour he won’t have to have another operation, but because it’s an aggressive cancer it grows really fast and if the chemotherapy doesn’t work they nwill have to go in and operate as a last resort.”
Lee and Steve want to use the money they raise to help pay for the kind of equipment that would provide Cayden with a better quality of life.
He has, for example, got to have private care to learn how to read braille.
“We would love to give him a holiday with his family to Egypt and to also visit Orlando Universal studios as he loves all movies and especially Star Wars, Harry Potter, and all superhero movies,”said Lee.
“We would also love to provide him with stimulating toys he can interact with and for him feel like an average playful child again as he is unable to be at school, play with friends or play with his old toys, often getting frustrated and left out.”